What German elections mean to the global economy

Merkel heavy favourite to retain position as Chancellor

In theory, there should be no shortage of issues ahead of the German election, such as slow progress in the country's turn toward renewables, demographic change, and the vast challenge of assimilating over 1 million asylum seekers or refugees who arrived over the past years.

Passersby walking down the street in just about every German city, town or village get a detailed look at who is running in their district and a condensed version of their campaign messages.

"In our view, the outcome of the German election could have implications for the balance of power in the EU, especially in the Franco-German relationship", says David Zahn, head of European fixed income at Franklin Templeton investments. Another message: "Healthy food doesn't come from nature that's sick". Things are going well and that has blunted the edge of the immigration backlash. Italy's struggle to cope with an upsurge in arrivals from Africa in the summer renewed fears in Germany that it could face a new wave of migrants traveling north over the Brenner Pass through Austria to the German border.

Although the nature of the new German coalition and the persons undertaking specific portfolios will define future developments, Julian Rappold believes some optimism on strengthening European economic governance is justified. We make them ourselves!" and "Burqas? Political risk is also dwindling in Italy, a country that is historically politically volatile.

Opinion polls point firmly to Angela Merkel retaining the chancellery following Sunday's election.

In trying to appeal to voters disillusioned by Merkel's 12-year tenure, the AfD has railed against her 2015 decision to let more than one million asylum seekers, mainly from Muslim countries, into Germany.

Mrs Merkel said: "We have to take a clear stance when it is about our basic values". A member of the SPD's youth organisation "Jusos", Tim Lange, 17, said a majority of young people in the party hoped to see it bounce back by returning to its left-wing tradition.

Michaela Rehle  Reuters
People vote in the general election in Munich Germany
Michaela Rehle Reuters People vote in the general election in Munich Germany

Upstart Berlin party The Urban are seeking to draw votes through the love of hip-hop.

Should Merkel and her main challenger, Martin Schulz, agree to continue governing in a "grand coalition" between the two strongest parties, the AfD could lead the opposition in the Bundestag, a role that traditionally carries additional privileges, such as the presidency of the parliament's budget committee. "If you look at the AfD people they say nearly nothing, and when they say something, they just say "no, no, no". What appeared to be missteps - such as a private email exchange in which party leader Alice Weidel reportedly attacked Germany's democratic system and called the ruling political class "pigs"- did little to halt the AfD's momentum.

The nude image generated a media and voter backlash, and Krueger lost the election. In addition to the AfD, and Merkel's CDU, Germans will cast votes for the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP), led by Martin Shulz; the libertarian Free Democratic Party (FDP); The Left (Die Linke); and the Greens (Die Gruenen). Pork is a forbidden meat under Islam.

SPD Justice Minister Heiko Maas accused Altmaier of helping the AfD: "Telling people not to vote is helping the AfD's campaign, that's exactly what they want", he said. Kronhagel says that he teaches German to newly arrived refugees and have noticed that a significant proportion of them do not want to assimilate into the German society and culture. It not only sows doubt in the minds of the undecided voters, but also scares away state employees, law enforcement officers, business owners and even law-abiding citizens from associating themselves with the AfD out of fear of government scrutiny and reprisals.

A voter can vote for a constituent from one party, but then vote for another party's list, effectively splitting their vote. Over 65% of those who took part said they were satisfied with the job Merkel is doing as Chancellor.

Another controversial poster is being distributed by the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany.

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